2021 Chevrolet Colorado
- Early 2020
What to expect
- Each trim gets a new front-end design
- Bowtie logo replaced with stamped "Chevrolet" across the tailgate
- Sand Dune Metallic exterior paint available on Z71 and ZR2 models
- Part of the second Colorado generation introduced in 2015
What is it?
The Chevrolet Colorado is General Motors' highest-volume midsize pickup truck, and for the 2021 model year it will bring a new look to the streets and trails. The truck will trade the Chevy "bowtie" emblem on its rear for "Chevrolet" embossed across the tailgate. The move brings the Colorado more in line with its larger Silverado sibling and harkens back to trucks in the '80s and '90s that also featured the brand name spelled out across the gate.
Colorado models come with a new look on the front end that will create a more visual difference between trim levels. GM redesigned the center bar that stretches across the front grille, as well as the lower bumper and off-road skid plates. The Colorado WT and LT get a new gold bowtie logo in the grille, while the Z71 gets a black one.
The most substantial changes appear on the Colorado ZR2, the extreme off-road version of the truck. For 2021, the ZR2's new front fascia has a more prominent, wide-open grille that stretches out wider and lower than the previous version. Red tow hooks are now standard, and the pass-through "Chevrolet" badge that debuted on the armor-plated ZR2 Bison is also included. The 2021 ZR2 is available in new Sand Dune Metallic exterior paint that is also an option on the Colorado Z71.
There are no mechanical changes to the 2021 Colorado. It will carry over its current range of engines: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, a 3.6-liter V6, and a 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel four-cylinder.
Why does it matter?
Chevrolet needs to keep the Colorado current to compete with newer trucks, especially with the tough-looking Jeep Gladiator ready to gobble up off-road enthusiast dollars. This generation of the Colorado debuted in the U.S. in 2014 as part of the 2015 model year, but similar versions had already been on sale in global markets for several years. The refresh for 2021 brings a modern face to the Colorado to hold buyers' attention until GM can bring a new generation to market.
What does it compete with?
In the past year, newcomers such as the Jeep Gladiator and the Ford Ranger have also emerged. The Ranger is a capable hauler and may be the closest rival to the GM trucks, but it suffers from poor ride quality. The Gladiator is a hardcore off-road performer and offers a unique convertible option. Its rough-and-tumble Rubicon trim is likely part of what pushed GM into toughening up the ZR2's looks.
On the less traditional side, the Honda Ridgeline takes a different approach with its unibody construction and car-like ride and handling. While the Ridgeline can't match the field in maximum towing and payload capacity, we like that it's capable of heavy lifting in a comfortable package.
Some aesthetic tweaks are meant to keep shoppers' attention on the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado, particularly the ZR2 trim, but otherwise nothing has changed with Chevy's midsize truck.